Wood Street

Architect

Structural and Service Engineers Client

Richard Rogers Partnership Ove Arup and Partners Daiwa. Europe Properties PLC

Completed in 1999, the offices at 88 Wood Street, in the heart of the city of London, is the first major office block built by the Richard Rogers Partnership since Lloyds of London was completed in 1986. Won in competition in 1990, the original brief was to create a prestige headquarters for the Daiwa Banking Corporation, but the original concept design was hit by the recession in both Japan and London, and a new brief in 1994 called for a speculative office block.

The building is more than athird larger than the original concept, rising in three linked steps of 10, 14 and 18 storeys, comprising 22,600 m2 of dealing and administrative facilities. 88 Wood Street addresses the demands of the office market with great elegance; it it is a building of unusual transparency.

It is this transparency which declares its daylighting credentials; for the intention was to provide an office building which would maximize the use of daylight and give the impression of being wholely lit by natural light. The floor plates are arranged so that no-one sits more than 13 m from a window, and that artificial lighting is not generally required during the day.

The windows are triple glazed on all but the north side, with internal blinds which are operated automatically to control solar glare.

The building's 'active' facade comprises the world's largest double glazed units, measuring 3 m by 4 m. The inner faces of the external

Building elevation, this shows a regular and unimpeded office space across an irregular site panes have a low E (emissivity) coating, which further reduces internal solar gain. In addition athird glass panel is provided to the 'climate' facade. A 140 mm cavity between the third panel and the double glazed units is provided with integral horizontal venetian blinds with perforated slats. Photo cells on the roof monitor the external light conditions adjusting the angles of the blinds, thus minimizing sun glare and heat gain.

The artificial lighting is 'daylight linked' with the exterior light levels, to reduce the energy required during the day; but because the building is a speculative office block, the individual tenants have a degree of control of the artificial lighting system adopted fortheir own areas. As one would expect, the different tenants have developed their own areas in terms of their own individual needs and tastes; but the building design is robust enough to cope with these idiosyncrasies and a walk around the building indicates an overall sense of quality, incorporating the latest advances in technology and energy conservation, and offers uninterrupted views over the city.

Building elevation, this shows a regular and unimpeded office space across an irregular site

Main elevation

View to foyer from Level 1 Walkway

Unoccupied floor space

View to foyer from Level 1 Walkway

View out over London from an office

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